The Russian decision to suspend its participation in the New START Treaty has left major repercussions and effects on the international political and military situation amid fears of a nuclear confrontation in this regard.
The Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, also known as the New START Treaty, was signed by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his US counterpart Barack Obama in 2010 before it entered into force in 2011. The United States and the Russian Federation agreed in 2021 to extend the treaty through February 4, 2026.
Under the treaty, the Russian Federation and the United States had seven years to meet the treaty’s central limits on strategic offensive arms (by February 5, 2018) and are then obligated to maintain those limits for as long as the treaty remains in force.
Both the Russian Federation and the United States met the central limits of the New START Treaty by February 5, 2018, and have stayed at or below them ever since. Those limits are:
- 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments;
- 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments (each such heavy bomber is counted as one warhead toward this limit);
- 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on Tuesday that Russia was suspending its participation in the New START treaty but was not withdrawing from it. The head of state emphasized that before resuming discussions of further activities under the treaty, Russia needed to figure it out for itself how the arsenals of NATO’s other nuclear-weapons countries, the UK and France, would be taken into account along with US capacities.
The Russian affairs expert, Mohammad Sweidan, told Al-Manar English Website that Russia’s New Start suspension was based on intelligence reports about US resumption of nuclear tests, adding that the decision comes as Moscow-Washington ties have reached the worst situation since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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Source: Al-Manar English Website